The awards event celebrates people who have made an indelible impact on the state of Illinois through their work and support of the humanities
CHICAGO, March 15, 2022 — Illinois Humanities is proud to announce this year’s Public Humanities Awards honorees: Chicago poet, museum educator, and teaching artist Nicole Bond, Executive Director and Co-Founder of I Am East St. Louis, Lorenzo Savage, and Director of the Western Illinois Museum in Macomb, Sue Scott. Illinois Humanities will present the Beacon Award to the Art for Justice Fund, a national organization disrupting mass incarceration by funding artists and advocates working together to transform our criminal legal system. This year’s awardees join others leaders recognized by Illinois Humanities since 1984 including Eve Ewing, Dawoud Bey, Jeanne Gang, and Tonika Lewis Johnson.
“I am so thrilled to have the chance to celebrate partners whose work in the humanities strengthens their communities and, in turn, makes our state stronger and more resilient,” said Gabrielle Lyon, Executive Director of Illinois Humanities. “As our most important fundraiser and largest free public event, I can’t think of a better way than the Public Humanities Awards to bring our diverse community of supporters and champions together.”
The 2022 Public Humanities Awards will air live online on May 19, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CST. Funds raised by the event support the organization’s grant making and free public humanities programs throughout Illinois.
The event is chaired by Illinois Humanities Board Member and civic leader Jennifer Wirtz. Early lead sponsors of the 2022 Public Humanities Awards include Northwestern University’s Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Art for Justice Fund, and Susan Eleuterio and Tom Sourlis.
Registration is free, and donations are encouraged. All contributions support Illinois Humanities’ mission to provide free, high-quality humanities experiences throughout Illinois, particularly for communities of color, individuals living on low incomes, counties and towns in rural areas, small arts and cultural organizations, and communities highly impacted by mass incarceration. Register to attend and contribute a donation at: https://www.ilhumanities.org/PHA.
There are additional sponsorship opportunities available. For more information about sponsorships, contact Morven Higgins at email@example.com.
Illinois Humanities, the Illinois affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a statewide nonprofit organization that activates the humanities through free public programs, grants, and educational opportunities that foster reflection, spark conversation, build community, and strengthen civic engagement. We provide free, high-quality humanities experiences throughout Illinois, particularly for communities of color, individuals living on low incomes, counties and towns in rural areas, small arts and cultural organizations, and communities highly impacted by mass incarceration. Founded in 1974, Illinois Humanities is supported by state, federal, and private funds. Learn more about Illinois Humanities at ilhumanities.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ILHumanities.
Nicole Bond is an award-winning poet, museum educator, and teaching artist from Chicago who works as an educator at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art and at Court Theatre. An alum of the IH Odyssey Project, she weaves together words, ideas, media, images, and more, leveraging the humanities to inspire, provoke, and impact individuals and communities throughout Chicago.
Lorenzo Savage is executive director and co-founder of I Am East St. Louis, a magazine and community organization built to “invoke a sense of pride in current and former residents; change the minds of those who believe negative contemporary legends about East St. Louis; and attract new residents, businesses, investors, and developers.” He is a creative, collaborative, and committed leader who creates change through the humanities in his town and beyond.
Sue Scott is director of the Western Illinois Museum in Macomb where she builds community through a combination of tried-and-true programs and bold, creative approaches to addressing current issues, local history, and personal and collective storytelling. The Western Illinois Museum is at the heart of the community and her leadership, devotion to collaboration, and innovative approach is a portrait of the humanities making an impact.
Art for Justice was founded in 2017 by Agnes Gund to end mass incarceration in the United States and the racism that drives it. This six-year catalytic fund ending in 2023 has already made close to $100 million in grants to over 200 artists, advocates, and organizations that are transforming the criminal legal system and creating a future of shared safety for all.
CONTACT: COMMUNICATIONS@ILHUMANITIES.ORG | 773-251-4772